Look at all that glorious ricotta. I will pinterest the ever loving crap out of this photo because it makes me hungry again. Photo credit: McCormick

Lasagna is the best comfort food: fact. Here are some thoughts I had while eating some.

Seasonings are a given, so they’ve been omitted from the rankings because they’re kind of all over. Everything else? Welp:

5. Noodles: These are basically the mortar of the lasagna. The bits that hold it all together. An excellent means to layer many delicious things, but at the end of the day, you’re looking at the brick, not the mortar, aren’t you?

4. Tomato sauce: Can be delicious, but ultimately, it’s a tomatoey sauce, and tomatoey sauces are best in supporting roles than in a mouthful of deliciously seasoned cooked tomato. I hate tomatoes, but I’m strangely okay when they’re prepared in stuff (sauces, salsas, pico de gallo, sun-dried tomato things).

3. Tasty sausage bits: I am carnivorous. I eat the meat. I enjoy the little chunks-o-sausage or whatever in lasagna. That cow? (I think it’s cow?) did not die in vain. I am enjoying his moo-moo? flesh in my lunch. If the meat is mediocre, it gets ranked under the sauce. Lasagna sauce is pretty good. But my lunch had sausagey bits, and I am 100% pro-Italian sausage bits.

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2. Ricotta cheese: If you use cottage cheese, you’re just wrong. Ricotta or bust. Ricotta is fluffy clouds of happiness and the oozing of tomato sauce in between it all is the beeeeeest.

1. Gooey melty white cheese: I know this is the reason I burn my mouth on lasagna, but the layer of gooey cheese on top is the great crowning achievement of the lasagna. It’s why lasagna is the best food. There’s cheese on top of more cheese. So much cheese. I love cheese. Melty cheese is the food equivalent to a large pile of Puffalumps. It’s a hug for your mouth. The more, the merrier. Bonus points if the entire top of the dish is covered in oozy cheese.

[This has been Stef Eats Lunch. I’m aiming to get back to my regular transportation-related programming next week, hopefully with a couple big features about cool stuff. In the meantime, there’s a pile of Puffalumps that needs me.]